Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Still Alive, Just! 

Just a quick post to let you all know, I'm still alive. I know the blog has once again been badly neglected but a severe overload of deadlines is biting hard here. I'm way behind schedule and can't see any light at the end of this particular tunnel, apart from the fact that we're getting a colleague working on less time critical work to help make up some of the lost time. Personally I don't give two figs for it at the moment. All I can think of is the forthcoming holiday, 11 nights in Cyprus, starting a week tomorrow.

We've just come through a bank holiday weekend of lousy weather, it rained a lot, not that we expect anything different in these parts. I spent Saturday trimming back the Leylandii in the garden, pulling nettles out of neglected areas of the border and between showers mowing the front lawn. I would have done the lawns at the back but they were rather squelchy. In fact the lower lawn was so damp I couldn't walk on it for fear of sinking ankle deep into the mud. I think some remedial drainage work is going to have to be carried out next year.

On Saturday night we attended 'A bit of a Do', celebrating the marriage of my step-son's fiancee's twin sister. It was a pretty good night, I along with the majority of people was well drunk and according to Mrs C joined in and sang every song that came up on the radio during the drive home. Mrs C drove in case you are wondering, I couldn't have found the steering wheel, let alone the gear stick.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet by comparison. On Sunday we drove to a remotish farm, near Audlem in South Cheshire, that sells reconstituted stone garden ornaments and, bought a stone trough for the front garden. It was bloody heavy, in fact my step-son commented when helping me to lift it out of the car, "Whatever you do, don't buy another one, otherwise I'm leaving the country before I have to lift another one of those". We stopped off at Stapeley Water Gardens on the way back for a snack and cup of tea. Unfortunately whilst the food was ok, the state of the cafe was not. The staff were clearing tables all right, but the floor was strewn with litter and the carpet tiles were filthy with trodden in food. If anyone from the company is looking in then I would suggest you do something about the situation. I'll not be eating their again if I encounter such a situation. It may have been a busy Bank Holiday, but that is no excuse for lazy cleaning practices.

Monday was spent painting the en-suite shower room, not my favourite occupation, we were going to go to the cinema to see 'I-Robot' but by the time we had finished it was too late and we were too tired to be bothered, so that can wait until later in the week.

Oh and I didn't win the lottery so, like everyone else, I'm still working for a living, roll on next week.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Dinosaurs Still Exist! 

Dinosaurs may be alive and well and living in New Zealand. Take a look at the webcam pointing at White Island Crater a volcano on White Island in New Zealand. Now enlarge one of the daylight pictures and note what is in the foreground. Yes, it seems that a tourist may have gone ashore onto the volcanic White Island, then climbed to the top of the live crater and deposited a stuffed or blowup replica of Dino, the pet dinosaur from The Flintstones. Scientists monitoring the site expect the toy to disintegrate within a few days, due to the acidity of the surrounding atmosphere.

PS. The above link has now been fixed.

Friday, August 20, 2004


There's something about standardisation in men's clothing products that really gets my goat and it was highlighted yet again at the weekend, when I went out and bought a new pair of chinos ready for our impending holidays. If I could get hold of the people who decided on the standardisation of trouser sizes, I'd rattle their heads against a brick wall, until they either understood what my problem is, or their brains fell out.

What is it that gets me so riled up you might ask? Well it's all to do with the standard trouser lengths that the industry has imposed upon us. Invariably in Britain trousers come in 3 leg lengths; short, regular and long. These lengths invariably translate into inside leg measurements of 29 inches, 31 inches and 33 inches when you buy a normal pair of trousers. Now that doesn't give people outside the two extremes a great deal of scope to play with.

As I'm, for the want of a better term, a shortarse with an inside leg measurement of 28.5 inches, I can just about get away with the standard "short" inside leg measurement, but that all changes when it comes to jeans, chinos and their like. Oh yes some pillock, in his infinite wisdom, has added an inch to the lengths of each of the standard leg sizes, for such items of everyday casual wear. Well they have at Matalan anyway.

So on Saturday, when I spotted a pair of Chinos in the sale at a bargain price of £10, that actually seemed to fit me, apart from the leg length that is, I thought "I'll have them and get them taken up an inch". All was fine until I was presented with the bill of £10 for the adjustments, which effectively doubled the price of my bargain. Bollocks! I knew I should have got the Wonderweb out, even Marks and Spencers only charge £7 for alterations.

If there is anyone in the rag-trade out there reading this, can you please tell me why there seem to be two different standards for each if the sizes; short, regular and long? I dread to think what people with leg measurements even more outside those of the "average" person have to do to find pants that fit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Call This A Bargain? 

I've seen some strange stuff offered on eBay before, but never an over-rated footballer who is reportedly surplus to requirements.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Beer, Sprouts and Chocolate 

Once again I return to the blogging fold, having spent 4 days in Brussels. I'll tell you something for nothing; getting up at 3:45am for a flight to Brussels which is inevitably delayed for one hour, then putting in a full days training, followed by a few drinks in the bar, then a Chinese meal with wine, finally followed by more drinks in a bar and then finally to bed for 1pm the following morning, does nothing for your concentration on day two of a course.

Overall the course would have been very useful if I had understood any of it, but as it was it merely turned out to be useful and a starting point as to where to find more information on our product as and when I needed it. I had intended to meet up with Zoe and Quarsan on the 2nd night but had to cry off and rearrange the meet for Thursday night, because I needed to meet up with some of our guys from Ireland on the evening after I had completed the nights homework. It was just as well I did cry off, as the two guys know an awful lot about the stuff we're working on and will be useful contacts for the future.

As usual a night out with the Irish contingent ended in a fairly heavy drinking session, so Thursday morning was hard going, though I did manage to get finished what had been set for the day. The training on Thursday really dragged by, it wasn't helped by the fact that the entire afternoon was spent on a conference call with a guy in America whose delivery was monotone to say the least. If you have ever watched the TV program; The Wonder Years, then this guys slow monotonous delivery was akin to that of Mr Cantwell the boring Science teacher. It was so bad I was falling asleep by 4pm. Still the highlight of the trip was almost upon me, I didn't get back to the hotel until 7:10pm, so a quick wash and brush up and it was down to reception to await the promised lift from Quarsan and Zoe.

Bang on the dot of 7:30pm they rolled up and whisked me away to their home, I must admit that, I felt a bit of trepidation about whether we would get on or not, but I needn't have worried, we all seemed to get along very well. On arrival I was introduced to Tatiana and Coralie, who had been preparing the salad to accompany the kebabs and sausages, which had been prepared by Zoe during the afternoon, that Quarsan cooked to perfection on the BBQ. Todd arrived as the food was ready for serving and quickly enquired in a very diplomatic way whether beds would have to be given up for the night and was equally quickly reassured that I'd be returning to my hotel.

To cut a long story short, the food was excellent, a few beers/wines were sunk and Zoe and Quarsan's company were excellent too. I couldn't have wished for better hosts or company. We talked about all sorts and nothing and, in no time at all it was half past midnight and time to return to the hotel, with Z & Q's gift of 3 bottles of Belgian beer. I had really enjoyed the evening and hope to reciprocate it someday.

Friday came and went, the course was easier, as it was a sort of do your own thing to reinforce what we'd gone over, so I tackled some problems that I'd encountered on the project and, with some help from one of the Irish contingent some light was seen at the end of the tunnel. The flight back was delayed by 30 minutes, possibly because of a thunderstorm earlier in the afternoon, but I got home safe and sound.

Apart from meeting up with Zoe and Quarsan, the other highlights of the trip were being upgraded to Club class on the flights both ways, plus having a room upgrade to superior quality in the hotel, all for a knock down summer rate of 90euros per night.

PS I enjoyed the Belgian beers on Saturday night, and by heck they had a kick to them. Once again a big Thank You to Z & Q for their wonderful hospitality it was really appreciated.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Last Post 

Well this looks like my last post until next week, due to my impending visit to Brussels. I'm actually looking forward to a course for once, which will be a novel experience. This is down to the fact that the course will actually be useful to me as opposed to might be useful one day.

Yay! Over the next few days, I'll find out what I've been supposed to be doing over the last 3 weeks and, hopefully I'll even understand it.


You know that silly quiz post I did last Week, the one about which exotic death I would suffer? Yeah that one about being stung to death by a swarm of killer bees. Well, whilst clearing the pond of yet more blanket weed yesterday, a bloody wasp stung me, just above my Adam's apple. How can such a little thing cause so much pain?

I don't blame the wasp, I don't think it meant to do the deed, I didn't know it was there and bent my head forward to look into the pond, trapping it between my throat and chin. In fact after it stung me it couldn't even get itself free, until Mrs C flicked it off with a tea towel, that is.

It was only after the event that I noticed that there were loads of wasps flying around an ornamental thistle near the pond. All looked particularly dozy and not far off their expiry date.

That's only the second time I've ever been stung by a wasp, I hope there won't be a third time. The first time was over 10 years ago, it was a hot day and I was wearing a loose pair of shorts, I felt a tickle up the back of my leg and thought a fly had flown up my shorts, so gave the offending insect a flick through the material. It was then I found that it wasn't a fly but a wasp, I yelped as it plunged it's stinger into my buttock. It was like a scene from a comic. The kids were in hysterics and I thought Mrs C seemed a might unsympathetic as she uttered the words; "If you think I'm sucking the poison out from there, you've another think coming".

Ain't nature wonderful, I've been stung twice by wasps and both times it was my own fault, on both occasions, the wasps concerned, probably didn't even mean to sting me.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Brussels Trip Is Go 

The afore mentioned trip to Brussels is on. It seems that we will travel over early Tuesday morning to start the course, which will last 4 days and fly back to Manchester on the 17:05 flight out of Brussels.

The hotel booked, for 6 of us, is the Hotel Belson which, I am informed, is near enough in the middle of an industrial estate, though there are some restaurants close by. Whether that's true or not, I haven't got a clue. But it's company approved so we're stuck with it although the description sounds fine.

I'm not sure at this stage what hours will be worked or how we will be fixed for free time at night, but if Zoe and Quarsan are nearby and fancy a brief meet for a drink or two, then drop me an email with a contact number. If I do get a free night from my co-workers, I'll try to sort something out. However if you don't wish to meet up, don't worry, I'll understand.

Regardless of that, any recommendations of places to eat near the hotel would be gratefully received.

The Exotic Death Test 

Test Results - Exotic Death Test: I will be stung by a swarm of killer bees

How will you die? Take the Exotic Cause of Death Test

Nicked from Jackshian

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Nothing Much Here Carry On 

Well nothing much interesting has happened since my last post, apart from a bout of gardening on Saturday which saw me relaying the edging stones on our pond which looked in danger of collapse. Oh and we took delivery of a recycled metal sculpture of an Ibis that we ordered at the Tatton Park RHS show the previous weekend, it looks pretty cool stood at the edge of the pond.

Work is, well work and pretty busy too. There's no let up on that front. The stuff I have allocated, has to be finished before I jet off on holiday in September, so I have my work cut out. We did find out yesterday, that we're all going to Brussels on a course next week. The course should help teach how to do what we have actually been doing for the last three weeks.

Thank goodness for that I was beginning to feel a bit lost. The course will be held at our Brussels HQ, in the Sint-Stevens-Woluwe area, probably from Tuesday through Friday. Nothing has been confirmed yet though, neither have flights or hotels been booked. Hopefully we'll find out what is happening by tomorrow otherwise everything is getting a little too close for comfort.

I'll try to keep you updated, work permitting.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Referencers